Credit: IMF

New IMF Guidance on Green PFM

The urgency and cross-cutting nature of climate change requires an adaptation of existing public financial management (PFM) practices to ensure that climate concerns are taken into consideration at every step of fiscal and budget policies, from their design to their implementation.

In August 2021, an IMF Staff Climate Note outlined a framework (“Green PFM”) for the integration of an environment and/or climate-friendly perspective into PFM practices and processes. The Green PFM framework provides a holistic view of entry points and opportunities for integrating climate priorities into PFM frameworks. It can be applied to all countries regardless of their income level or capacity.

Building on this Staff Climate Note, a newly published How-to-Note (How to Make the Management of Public Finances Climate Sensitive) presents details of the Green PFM framework supported by a wide range of country examples. It provides operational advice to governments, including a complete picture of entry points within the budget cycle that offer opportunities for deeper integration of environmental and climate priorities. It also specifies areas of interaction with PFM functions that go beyond the scope of the budgetary cycle, such as coordination with other public sector entities or fiscal transparency.

The IMF’s Green PFM Framework relies on the following series of questions:


Although no government has yet adopted a comprehensive “Green PFM” system, a growing number of governments are implementing good practices in one or more of the areas listed above. The How-to-Note presents country examples relevant for each key PFM area where environmental / climate concerns should be “mainstreamed”. Examples include the following:


With governments showing growing interest in greening their PFM systems and practices, the How-To-Note emphasizes the importance of country-specific reform strategies consistent with each country’s legal framework, capacity levels, and reform agenda. It further details five key principles (see below) to ensure a successful implementation of green PFM reforms.



To help IMF member countries integrate environmental and climate priorities into their PFM systems, the Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) is providing capacity development support including through bilateral technical assistance missions and peer-learning seminars. Early examples of this support have included providing technical assistance missions to the Turks and Caicos Islands (mainstreaming green and gender budgeting processes into the budget cycle) and Serbia ("green budget tagging" and identifying PFM practices that can be enhanced to support green budgeting). FAD has also conducted regional seminars in South and Southeast Asia.  An online course on Green PFM presented by the IMF's Institute for Capacity Development and FAD provides an opportunity to learn more about Green PFM.

The IMF will continue to promote its Green PFM Framework and provide capacity development support to member countries interested in greening their PFM systems, in conjunction with other tools developed by FAD (e.g., the climate module of the Public Investment Management Assessment (C-PIMA) and the Fiscal Risk Toolkit) or with other partners such as the United Nations Development Program or the World Bank, notably in the context of the efforts of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action.


How PFM practices can be adapted to reflect the urgency of climate change.
Claude Wendling , Senior Economist with the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.